The Shield sends FX into Nielsen top 10

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Record ratings for the debut of The Shield propelled FX into the top
10 in last week's cable Nielsen Media Research ratings.

The Shield, a dirty-cop drama set in Los Angeles, scored a 4.1 rating
March 12, the best-ever premiere rating for an original cable series.

FX finished the week with a 1.4 average in prime time, more than doubling its
February ratings average of 0.6, according to Nielsen data.

MTV: Music Television also scored big in the 10 p.m. hour March 12, with
The Real World XI collecting a 3.4 rating and The Osbournes
notching a 3.2. MTV earned a 0.9 average rating in prime time last week.

Lifetime Television stayed atop its usual perch as the top-rated network,
pulling in a 2.4 prime time average. 'Television for Women's' original movie,
Her Best Friend's Husband, earned a 3.7 March 11.

Rounding out the top five were USA Network (2.0), Nickelodeon (1.9) and
Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s Turner Network Television (1.5), TBS
Superstation (1.5) and Cartoon Network (1.5). FX finished sixth.

Fox News Channel retained its lead over Cable News Network, posting a 1.2 in
prime time and a 0.7 in total day. CNN earned a 0.9 in prime time and a 0.5 in
total day.

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